Davies boot gets Ospreys past Cheetahs
PRO14 REPORT: Sam Davies held his nerve to kick Ospreys to victory over the Cheetahs and keep alive their faint hopes of a play-off berth.
It was the third defeat for the Cheetahs in a row, having previously lost to Glasgow Warriors and Cardiff Blues, and increases the pressure on them as they look to hold on to third place in Conference A.
Tries from Torsten Van Jaarsveld, and Reniel Hugo gave the Cheetahs an early lead before Ospreys hit back through Ashley Beck shortly after half-time.
Nico Lee went over a few minutes later for the visitors but they were pegged back once more, this time by a Sam Cross try.
Craig Barry’s try on 57 minutes looked to have made the result secure, but a Davies penalty, and Ifan Phillips’ 78th minute try snatched the victory from the Cheetah’s grasp.
The visitors started strongly, with Lee going over for a try, only for the ball to be held up, after just four minutes.
They wouldn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock however, as Van Jaarsveld muscled his way over the try line on nine minutes.
Five minutes later they had a second, second row Hugo crossing for the visitors this time as they began to show why they sit in third in Conference A.
Ospreys grew into the half, but struggled to break the Cheetah’s defence, with Sam Davies putting their first points on the board on the stroke of half-time with a penalty.
The game opened up in the second period as the Cheetahs sought to take the game away from Ospreys, but it was the home side who struck first.
Ashley Beck brought Ospreys back into contention and with Sam Davies’ conversion they were just two points behind.
Lee then bagged his try after having had one ruled out in the first half, brilliantly running in from 60 metres to score.
Ospreys came back again through Sam Cross, but just a few minutes after that, Barry intercepted a loose pass and ran in to secure the try bonus point for the Cheetahs.
Ospreys edged closer towards the Cheetahs try line as the clock ticked down and Phillips was the man to score, leaving Davies to add the extras and win the game, which he duly did.
Tries: Beck, Cross, Phillips
Cons: Davies 3
Pens: Davies 2
For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Van Jaarsveld, Hugo, Lee, Barry
Cons: Marais 3
Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Tom Habberfield (Captain), 10 Sam Davies, 9 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 8 Sam Cross, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Olly Cracknell, 5 James King, 4 Adam Beard, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Ifan Phillips, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Alex Jeffries, 20 James Hook, 21 Luke Price, 22 Owen Watkin, 23 Hanno Dirksen
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Craig Barry, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Retshegofaditswe Nche, 18 Erich de Jager, 19 Renier Bernardo, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Zee Mkhabela, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Luther Obi.
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant referees: Adam Jones (Wales), Dewi Phillips (Wales)